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Anisotropic Spin Transport and Strong Visible-Light Absorbance in Few-Layer SnSe and GeSe

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journal contribution
posted on 14.10.2015, 00:00 authored by Guangsha Shi, Emmanouil Kioupakis
SnSe and GeSe are layered compound semiconductors that can be exfoliated to form two-dimensional materials. In this work, we use predictive calculations based on density functional and many-body perturbation theory to study the electronic and optical properties of single-layer, double-layer, and bulk SnSe and GeSe. The fundamental band gap is direct in single-layer and double-layer GeSe, but indirect in single-layer and double-layer SnSe. Moreover, the interplay of spin–orbit coupling and lack of inversion symmetry in the monolayer structures results in anisotropic spin splitting of the energy bands, with potential applications in directionally dependent spin transport. We also show that single-layer and double-layer SnSe and GeSe exhibit unusually strong optical absorbance in the visible range. Our results suggest that single-layer and double-layer SnSe and GeSe are promising materials for ultrathin-film photovoltaic applications with theoretical upper bounds to the conversion efficiency that approach the efficiency records realized in organic and dye-sensitized solar cells.